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    MORNING BELL: Sterling fell to a 3-week low

    The U.S. dollar fell for a second straight session against a basket of major currencies on Monday after traders unwound bullish dollar positions on the likelihood that Federal Reserve policy will be accommodative over the near term. The dollar added to its losses against the euro following a Fed statement on March 18 that suggested a less aggressive timetable for hiking interest rates. Last week was the dollar's worst week against the euro since late 2011. The euro was last up 1.31% against the dollar at $1.09650, not far from a nearly two-week high of $1.10625 hit last week. The dollar was last down 0.24% against the Japanese yen at 119.750 yen. The dollar was down 1.2% against the Swiss franc at 0.96460 franc, not far from a two-week low of 0.96295 franc hit last week. The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was last down 1.07% at 96.860.

    Sterling fell to a three-week low against the euro on Monday, weighed down by doubts over whether British interest rates will rise any time soon and worries over the outcome of a national election in early May. The euro was 1.2% higher against sterling at 73.10 pence. The pound fell 0.1% against the dollar to $1.4941.

    Gold firmed for the fourth straight session on Monday to its highest in more than two weeks, as the dollar extended losses and expectations rose that the Federal Reserve will hold off until at least September to raise interest rates. Gold had dipped to a four-month low before the Fed met last week as concerns mounted over higher U.S. interest rates, which could dent demand for non-interest-bearing bullion. Spot gold hit its highest since March 6 at $1,190.70 an ounce and was up 0.7 percent, by 3:05 PM EDT (1705 GMT). U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled up $3.10 at $1,187.70 an ounce.



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